Junior Vertus Challenges Lukewarm Attitudes
Audio (somewhat rough)
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on February 18, 2017 began with an introit by Penny Thomas on the organ and Jairit (senior) on the piano. Taking part in the service was a group of Adventist public high school students from Michigan under the direction of Jeff Young.
Elizabeth Castle had the Personal Ministries Corner. She mentioned that Laurelbrook exists for the academy, and it was mighty quiet this past week. The students were at Falls Creek Falls State Park, listening to ideas from a staff member from Wildwood. The theme was “Keys to Youthful Thinking”.
Camila (senior) read James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” We believe – and there is a change when we accept Christ. All the answers to life’s problems are found in the Bible.
Rosemarie Jeffries thanked everyone who had made the Retreat possible.
Hillis Jeffries III invited everyone to the cafeteria after the service for lunch. Vespers will be at 5:00 in the auditorium. At 2:30 a group will meet to go down the hill to do witnessing. Supper will be at 6:00; after which there will be a Waldensian Hike.
Note from the church bulletin – “Our two radio stations. The Gathering Place, 99.9 in Pikeville and 98.9, WRHE-LP, in Dayton. They are broadcasting 24/7 now.
Sarah Fargas from the Michigan Youth Group had the call to worship. The congregation then sang “Seek Ye First the Kingdom”. Hillis Jeffries III then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”.
TJ (senior) then called for the offering. Isaac and Arlin (seniors) then collected the morning offerings. The congregation sang the doxology, and Hillis Jeffries III prayed for the offering. Keren (senior) then read the children present a story.
Erick Salinas from the Michigan young group then presented a challenge titled “Lukewarm”.
Isaac (senior) read the scripture reading – Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” A Laurelbrook music group had special music – Cesar and Jairit (seniors) on the piano, Moises (9th grader) on the violin, Edgar (senior) on the saxophone accompanying singers Samantha (9th grade) and Alana (elementary).
- Many church members read the Bible, determine they will witness to others, but shy away from actually doing the witnessing. The result is that members scarcely mention the name of Christ or really deeply study the Bible.
- Revelation 3:15-16 “15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Luke warmness is being in the middle between cold and hot. In public we often chicken-out.
- Someone becomes lukewarm when they try to love God and the world. Peer pressure often does the same thing.
- Ellen White says that the whole heart must be given to God.
- Ellen White says that God will lift you up if you surrender yourself to God and appreciate the light God has given us through the Bible.
- Just because you are attending an Adventist school doesn’t mean you understand all of God’s requirements.
- Ellen White says that young people should band together to do the work of God. Don’t expect that someone else will do it. Youth can have a mighty influence on other young people.
Junior Vertus discussed the topic “All In”. The Laurelbrook Choir then sang a number for special music. Junior Vertus had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Hillis Jeffries III – academy boys’ dean / teaches in the academy program
Michigan youth group – group of Seventh-day Adventist public school students united for ministry / Jeff Young adult leader and coordinator
Junior Vertus – member of the Michigan youth group / 10th grade public school student in Michigan
Following are some notes on the sermon by Junior Vertus:
- There's a big difference between being a Christian and church member.
- The Third Commandment says we don’t take the Lord’s name in vain, yet do we live up to what Christ expects of us? We are taking the Lord’s name in vain if we don’t live up to what the Lord wants.
- Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
- Loyalty we have belongs only to one side or another. Are you “all in” for Jesus?
- We should focus on the “why” for our various beliefs and life practices.
- John 8:2-12 “2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not]. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 12 ¶ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
- They brought this poor woman to accuse Jesus no matter what solution Jesus found. But Jesus wrote their sins on the ground. Why would they want to condemn someone when they were sinning?
- Everyone could see this poor woman – her sin exposed her to the crowd, the Pharisees. Whatever sin is done will be exposed in the light.
- Everyone left except Jesus and the woman. Jesus would take the cost of her sin on Himself. He will do the same for all of us this morning.
- Christ took off His heavenly crown for a crown of thorns. Why?
- Jesus paid the cost for our sins, and the woman made the commitment to forsake her sins – all in.
- Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
- If we truly love Christ, we must give others a chance for salvation.
- Salt only has purpose when it reacts with food.
- Matthew 5:14-16 “14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
- When you cover light, you have taken away the purpose of the light. Likewise all of us as Christians must be “all in” or else we are useless. There’s no middle ground.
- When you accept Jesus, you accept the job of fishers of men.
- Love is really shaped like a cross, the one on which Jesus died.
- Jesus won’t condemn you. He suffered to redeem you.
- Isolate yourself from everyone and ask yourself if you are “all in” for Christ. It really doesn’t matter what other people think.